I’ve mentioned numerous times about how being a connected educator has changed my perspective on my personal growth and development as an educator. One of my goals this year is to show other teachers how to become connected educators, and the benefits from doing so.
It took me some time to figure out just how to do this. As an ITRT in my district, I am required to offer professional development sessions after school. I will be doing two a month. This will be in addition to my club that I’ll be hosting once a month, and any other after school meetings that I have to attend. I didn’t want to just add another PD day after school, as I felt this might overwork me, but also because it might keep people from attending.
Instead, I took the 1:1 route. I did this for a few reasons. The first I mentioned above. Another reason was because I wanted anyone who wanted to learn to be able to choose their day and time. They could choose either before school or during their planning, but it would only be done in half hour chunks. I also would be able to personalize the training to meet the needs of the staff member that I would be working with at the time. I would move at their pace, and they wouldn’t have to feel overwhelmed.
I sent out an email to my middle school and high school staff, seeking those interested in becoming connected through blogs and Twitter. I was very surprised at the response, and have ended up with about ten people from the high school and middle school that would like to give things a try. It doesn’t seem like a lot, especially when the high school has over 100 staff members, but it’s enough for me. It’s honestly more that I could have ever expected, and I’m hoping to keep these members wanting to be connected.
Now that I have some interested educators, it’s time for me to take the next steps. I’m going to have them decide whether they want to learn about blogging or Twitter first. No matter which tool they pick, in most cases we are going to start with a “watch first” approach and then work on taking action slowly. I have seen and attended sessions where users are happy to join Twitter or create a blogging account, but then it’s never used again after that session. It falls to the wayside and is abandoned.
My goal with this program is to avoid that abandonment by providing 1:1 coaching throughout the year. I am hoping that by providing support all year long that these folks will become active with at least one of the tools and continue to find ways to support themselves. We shall see!